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Finally, More E-books in Japan


Recently, I was going to write (read: complain) about the huge delay Japan was suffering with regards to technology and the sale of electronic books via Kindle or other handheld electronic readers. in America has been particularly successful with electronic books, often offering them at much lower prices than their hard-cover or paperback "old-school" versions.


Don't get me wrong.  I am still an enthusiast of books you can hold in your hand and store in your personal library for years and years, maybe never to be touched again, but not having the convenience and availability of the new era of electronic books in Japan has been a little disappointing.  The Japanese Amazon website has been advertising for quite some time that Kindle was coming to Japan, but it seemed like things would never move forward.


Finally, last week right before I was ready vent about that disappointment, I got a message in my inbox from the Nikkei business newspaper announcing the sale of electronic books in Japan for the Kindle through Amazon.  That's fantastic news!  But don't put away your disappointment just yet.  By my understanding, Japanese publishers have been a major source of the pushback on the sale of electronic books in Japan.  They don't seem very keen on the idea of selling the e-books at a lower price than the originals, and so for now, there aren't a lot of options to buy the Japanese books you're looking for in their electronic versions yet.  What the Japanese Amazon *can* offer you is the opportunity to buy more Western books electronically, which is better than nothing.


I did notice one thing that perhaps you should think about:  There is a button on each Amazon webpage for individual books when you are looking at the details that lets you send a message to the publisher saying that you really want to buy that book electronically.  Perhaps if they felt more demand from the general public, the publishers would get one step closer to releasing more Japanese e-books for sale, too.

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